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Barclays attempts to acquire MF Global customer claims


Bank and Seaport Group separately grouping together claims from failed brokers' clients

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Barclays and the Seaport Group are separately grouping together thousands of MF Global customer claims in an attempt to acquire the claims in bulk, reports suggested on Friday.

James Giddens, the trustee charged with recovering client funds, has paid back about 72 percent of the money in commodity trading accounts from the failed broker. However, more than 27,000 of MF Global's clients have not received any of their funds, worth a total of £1 billion.

Reuters claimed that Barclays and Seaport have been in talks with customer groups to acquire claims at more than 90 cents on the dollar. The groups are looking at ways to bundle smaller claims to make bigger bulk purchases, according to a term sheet from customer advocate group the Commodity Customer Coalition.

Seaport has said it will only take on claims worth $100,000 or more, according to the sheet.

Trace Schmeltz, an attorney for the coalition, told Reuters on Thursday his firm, Barnes & Thornburg, will work with Seaport to find ways to bundle.

"They asked if we'd do it, and we have a team in place to help them," Schmeltz said.

Meanwhile, Barclays this week cold-called R.J. O'Brien, the futures broker with the most former MF Global clients, to seek the firm's help in reaching potential sellers.

"They asked to have a meeting with us to share with us the plan that they have in mind," the broker's chief executive, Gerald Corcoran, told Reuters at the Futures Industry Association's annual meeting in Boca Raton, Florida, on Tuesday. "If we can do it, we will facilitate" communication between Barclays and customers interested in selling their claims, Corcoran said.

A spokesperson for Seaport did not return a call seeking comment. A Barclays spokesman declined to comment.

Photo credit: Reuters

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Barclays attempts to acquire MF Global customer claims
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